Literary critics see Arthur Machen’s works as a significant part of the late Victorian revival of the gothic novel and the decadent movement of the 1890s, bearing direct comparison to the themes found in contemporary works like Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. The White People is a highly influential horror story of a young girl's discovery of ancient magic. It was written in the late 1890s as part of a longer unfinished novel, some sketches from which went into his book Ornaments in Jade. Fans of supernatural fiction often cite this story as a classic in the genre. (Summary by Charlie Blakemore and Wikipedia)
Read by Charlie Blakemore
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May 5, 2013 Subject:
The White People is one of those works which is in the DNA of many later books, particularly in the horror genre. If you are interested in the development of horror, you have probably heard of it, without ever stumbling upon it. When I saw it in Librivox, and that it was so short (about three hours, if I recall) I thought it well worth grabbing, to see if the praise it gathered from early horror writers was deserved.
The story suffers from its frame narrative, which takes up about a third of the novella. Once that is dispensed with, the work is a very early version of found-manuscript horror, although it would not have been clear to contemporary readers if it was horror or fantasy until the last few pages (even had they these genre terms with which to safely pigeonhole it). I enjoyed it a great deal, but recommend it only for people who like the slow burn and verbosity of the early Mythos authors.
Reviewer:Sardonique Schadenfreude Rictus
February 28, 2013 Subject:
Great pronunciation and characterization !
Once again, an Arthur Machen tale told with a great degree of empathy and characterization; higher register for female voices, lower for male. Diction and delivery were superlative. Wonderful example of what LibriVox can deliver. Give us more Arthur Machen !!!
May 29, 2007 Subject:
MORE ABOUT ARTHUR
I LOVED "The White People"...and so will you if you like the kind of tale that's best read around Midnight on one of those Bulwer-Lytton style "dark and stormy nights". This, and his tale "The Great God Pan" have topped my lisat of "favorite stories to give yourself the creeps by" ever since I was 13 (I'm 57 now and SHAME on you for asking a lady's age!!!)
ANYWAY, what got overlooked about Mr. Machen (and, yes, there's a reason why there's a character in John Carpenter's THE FOG by that name who tells spooky stories to the kids on the beach---yes, he gets carried over in the re-make...sort of..but he's no longer a STORYTELLER which kinda defeats the purpose of giving the character that name).
But, I digress. Arthur was a member of the Order of the Golden Dawn back in the latter part of the 19th Century and hung out with characters like MacGregor Mathers and Aleister Crowley and that crowd. What's important about his legacy is that WITHOUT him there would probably never have been an H. P. Lovecraft (and therefore probably no Frank Belknap Long, or Clark Ashton Smith or August Derleth, EITHER!!! And NO bumper stickers with CTHULHU FOR PRESIDENT and THEN where would we have been???)
Well, I don't know. And fortunately I won't have to find out because I dwell in THIS universe where there WAS an Arthur Machen and not the universe-next-door where there was also an Arthur Machen but THAT one was an insurance saleman from Topeka, KS and therefore of no use to anyone.